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Far East Consortium said to mull S$500m Singapore Reit IPO

[SINGAPORE] Far East Consortium International, the Hong Kong developer, is considering a real estate investment trust (Reit) listing in Singapore that could raise as much as S$500 million, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Hong Kong-based Far East Consortium is working with advisers on the potential sale of trust units backed mainly by hotels under the Dorsett brand, the people said. The initial public offering (IPO) could take place as early as in the first half of 2020, according to two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are private.

Singapore has hosted US$3.7 billion of property trust IPOs over the past three years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. An index of Reits listed in the city has risen 19 per cent this year, outpacing the 4.8 per cent gain the benchmark Straits Times Index.

Far East Consortium owned 28 operating hotels with about 7,500 rooms at the end of March, with another 15 properties in the development pipeline, according to its full-year results announcement.

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Most of them are concentrated in Hong Kong, with the rest of the hotels spread across mainland China, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Europe.

The company, led by chief executive officer David Chiu, has a market value of HK$8.1 billion (S$1.37 billion) in Hong Kong. It owns the hotels through its Dorsett Hospitality International unit, which it took private in 2015.

A representative for Far East Consortium didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

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